Burton-esque monsters are the headline in this RPG lite featuring rhythm-based combat.
While Fearless Fantasy has been available on Steam (for PC) for about a year, it has just made the jump to iOS, and it survived this sometimes difficult transition completely intact. Premium gamers will rejoice in the fact that the developer didn't find a way to shoehorn in some microtransactions, while free-to-play fans will most certainly balk at the $4 asking price.
While Fearless Fantasy is billed as an RPG, it is actually very light on what is usually associated with this genre. There is no exploration and the story is a bit thin, and while you will level up, distribute stats, and equip cool gear, you will do so through a series of linear battles that are only vaguely connected by an almost completely unnecessary story. Right about now, you may be muttering vague words of disappointment, but I'm here to tell you that this formula is quite a bit more fun than it sounds on paper; mostly because the combat is so darned fun. As each battle unfolds, you will be required to execute a series of perfectly timed taps and swipes in order to attack and defend. Execute these perfectly and you will do massive damage, or almost completely mitigate attacks against you. Flub them, and suffer the consequences. Combined with a diverse skill tree, and you have a recipe for a game that is quite a bit deeper than first appears during the tutorial, and one that will start to feel almost organic as your skills and timing improve. After a while, you will start to feel like a bit of a virtuoso playing a musical instrument as you gracefully sweep your fingers across the glass without the need for forebrain processing. The icing on the cake is the ability to respec your characters anytime you like. This allows you to try different approaches for each battle. Not only nice, but necessary for success. Although FF began life on a PC, this is a game that really comes into its own when played on a touchscreen. Because of this, the iOS port is the definitive version, by far.
I previously described the graphics as Burton-esque, meaning that they look like something that only Tim Burton at his best could dream up. Quirky, menacing, and vaguely nightmarish; Fearless Fantasy is populated by the clown-infused creatures you'd expect to find in Burton's Beatlejuice universe, or the Alice In Wonderland Adaptation the famed director likely wanted to make. Rounding out the sensory experience are the excellent music and sound effects, which really up the immersion factor to 11.
I can easily recommend Fearless Fantasy to all but those who prefer their RPGs less twitchy, and people who are unable to reliably tap their foot to music. It may be linear and light on story, but it's fun, quirky, and completely unique. Skip a cup of coffee this week and buy this game. You won't regret it.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - REALLY unique monsters, drawn from the nightmares of the coulrophobic. Sound: - 5 - Great music and sound effects. Very enjoyable. Controls: - 5 - The iOS port is the definitive version. This game needs a touchscreen for maximum enjoyment Gameplay: - 5/1 - If you enjoy rhythm-based games, you will love this one (5). If you don't, you should stay away (1).
Playing Hints and Tips:
This game take practice. If you feel frustrated, keep at it. It will eventually click. Respec early, and respec often. It will allow you to play with all the stat variations, and is absolutely necessary as different monsters will be easier/harder depending on your spec.